BioMed Central explodes Open Access myths

03/22/04

Open Access is good news for UK research funding

"A switch to Open Access would not negatively impact research funding," BioMed Central declared today. The Open Access publisher issued a strong rebuttal of arguments that have been submitted by opponents of Open Access to the ongoing UK House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into scientific publishing.

In (Mis)Leading Open Access Myths <http://www.biomedcentral.com/openaccess/inquiry/myths.pdf>, a statement released today, BioMed Central counters claims that Open Access publishing would cut into research funding, asserting:

"The vastly increased access to research that is delivered by Open Access will greatly increase the effectiveness of the research money that is spent."

The statement continues:

"Open Access publishers are leading the way in using web technology to reduce costs further, so the cost of. Open Access publishing to the scientific community will be significantly less than the cost of the system that it replaces."

Open Access publishing, which makes all original research articles freely available to anyone, has been a major focus of the Government inquiry.

Today's statement from BioMed Central responds to each of the major "anti-Open Access" arguments made during the course of the inquiry so far.

"We felt it was important, at this stage when many people are hearing about Open Access for the first time, to dispel some of these myths," says Jan Velterop, BioMed Central's Publisher.

Other myths dispelled in the document include: "transferring copyright to a publisher protects scientific integrity"; "UK researchers already have all the access they need"; "industry will benefit from Open Access at the expense of research institutes"; and "the public would be confused if they had access to medical research".

The BioMed Central statement appears on a new web page <http://www.biomedcentral.com/openaccess/inquiry/>, also launched today, which brings together links to all the publicly accessible evidence that has been submitted to the Select Committee, together with the uncorrected transcripts of the oral evidence sessions. This web page will be continually updated as the inquiry proceeds, providing a central resource for information relating to the inquiry.

The site includes links to evidence from both Open Access's supporters and its detractors. "We want people to read all of the arguments about Open Access - both for and against," says BioMed Central Publisher Jan Velterop. "We firmly believe that we have convincing arguments to counter the objections to Open Access. We want to have an open debate."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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